Miklós Kiss’s neo-pop work combines art with toilets

Pop&Roll invites people to enter an immersive art gallery and store that also functions as a public restroom in Budapest. The space features vivid colors and a variety of neo-pop art references. Every element, from the interiors and graphic design to the concept and function, captures the lighthearted sensibility of Miklós Kiss’s fine art works.

As explained here, nearly 100 of his artworks are on exhibit, with the walls, furniture, and each of the 20 restrooms acting as canvases. The images are inspired by the pixel-based games of the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the interiors of Budapest’s Eastern European spas and swimming pools. The distinct spatial experience is a public artwork in itself, an avant-garde approach to art exhibitions that ignites creativity in one of the most unexpected places.

The Art Gallery, Art Shop, and Art Toilet are the three separate yet related areas that make up Pop&Roll. Each piece created by Hungarian artist Miklós Kiss aims to provide a fresh, fascinating, and accessible way to interact with and experience the world of contemporary art. The restroom area is a multisensory experience that is enhanced by carefully chosen music and scent. The music transports players to the realm of a fictional video game as they advance through a dungeon battle scene and eventually reach victory. The centerpiece of the Art Shop is a massive toy monkey with its limbs and legs changed into seats so that guests can relax. Its facial characteristics spell out ENJOY.

Goldenroaches and Emograms, originally graphic visuals and NFTs by Kiss, are dotted throughout Pop&Roll. A word’s letters make up the faces of the figures, which can be used to convey feelings, ideas, or just self-reflection. The pieces are displayed as though they are museum artifacts at the front by storage cabinets.

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The irony of living in the era of social media also permeates the entire interior. This is also implied by the humorous caption of the enormous mouth mural that greets guests at the entrance: GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY LIKE. The walls inside are covered with likes.

‘How many likes will this space get?’ Miklós Kiss playfully asks questions. As a result, the area takes on new meaning as a result of its daring combination of design, art, and functionality that encourages guests to pull out their phones, take a picture, and post it online.

Photos by Daniel Herendi